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LLLI Center for Breastfeeding Information

Journal Abstract of the Month for July 2002

This month we are featuring two articles on breastfeeding, as they are both on the subject of celiac disease, and how breastfeeding protects against celiac disease.

"A case-control study of the effect of infant feeding on Celiac Disease," by Ulrike Peters et al, published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism 01-7/8;45(4):135-42.

This study examined the duration of breastfeeding , the age when gluten was introduced into the diet and the incidence and age when Celiac Disease developed. 143 German children with Celiac Disease were studied. When children were breastfed for more than two months, the risk of developing Celiac Disease decreased by 63% as compared with those breastfed less than 2 months. Of particular interest: partial breastfeeding conferred the same protective effect as exclusive breastfeeding.

"Breast-feeding protects against Celiac Disease," by Anneli Ivarsson et al, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 02;75:914-21.

A Swedish team examined the effect of the continuation of breastfeeding during the period when dietary gluten was introduced. It was found that the gradual introduction of gluten-containing foods into the diet of infants while they are still being breast-fed reduces the onset of Celiac Disease in early childhood and probably also during the subsequent childhood period.

It is likely that the response of the immune system to an antigen may be modified by other exposues, eg, breast-feeding, because of its immune-modulating effect.

These two articles were categorized, using the following keywords, by the CBI Staff:

Epidemiology, Celiac Disease, Nutrition - Infant, Human Milk/Immune Factors, Genetic Concerns

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